The Due Benevolence Clause…

The Due benevolence clause…
marriage giving
1 Cor 7: 3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
As I have counselled folks in marriages over the years, there have been times when I hear: ‘If he wants sex, he better treat me right, or he’s sleeping on the sofa!’, occassionally, a few brave and honest women have said: ‘When I don’t fulfill his expectations, he stonewalls me, and sleeps on the other side of the bed. Makes me feel dirty and ashamed when I want sex’. This verse ends both sides of this game. God made sex to be joyful, honorable, and holy in a marriage relationship, and we are not to withold from one another, for any reason, other than times of prayer and fasting. In this rough and tumble, high tech, often brutal world, seems God gave sex to married couples as an anesthetic, a comfort and stress release from some of the rough edges on life. Enjoy the ride!
Let’s pray:
‘Father, I pray for married couples that are struggling sexually, that you would bless their sex life, with intimacy and passion, that brings grace and comfort to their marriage relationship, and homes, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

A Parable about Sexual Purity

Someone sent this to me, and it is good, so I am sharing it here.

A Parable about Sexuality

by Dean and Laura VanDruff
The following is a parable we have used for several years with teens and singles to explain 1 Corinthians 6:18 in the way of spiritual “sex education”.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a wise King gave each of his subjects a special TV set. Each person had one of his or her very own, and each was unique and beautiful.

“Take good care of this TV set because through it I will send my most important message to you of all time. It will concern the very meaning of life, and you will find it very pleasant. I will send it when the time is right, but the only way you will be able to receive it fully will be through the TV set I gave you.”

This was a cheering message, even if a bit lofty to the people of this land. In any case, the actual TV sets were beautiful to look at and an interesting gift in themselves.

But some grew tired of waiting for the much anticipated “message” and turned their TV sets on in advance of the broadcast. A neat sort of snow filled the screen. “Wow” said some, and began to encourage others to do the same.

Another group, realizing this was simply noise, were disinterested. They turned their units on, but seeing that it was not what the King had promised, they quickly turned their sets back off.

“But wait,” said the snow-watchers, “Turn the unit back on, and turn this color control adjustment knob here and it converts to a beautiful pink.” This was much more eye catching than the first boring snow-noise signal. But this was modifying the sets from the original settings. Still, it was indeed quite fascinating and appealing. These TV set were proving rich in possibilities, even outside of how the King had said to use them and beyond his sanctioned use.

“Ah, look here!” Someone had opened a panel and found the vertical and horizontal hold controls. By tampering with these, truly dazzling images could be created, and by adjusting the color controls at the same time these pictures could be endlessly modified, it would seem. But this new discovery grew boring and unfulfilling very quickly since the images had no real meaning.

Minus a real broadcast, the sets should not have even been turned on, just like the King had instructed.

Those possessed with having an image now went around experimenting with all the sets they could get their hands on, encouraging others to turn their TVs on and to fiddle with the settings as well, in hope of getting a “new” or better picture out of the resultant distortion. But the sets at this point were being seriously degraded and ruined for their intended use.

Such were the perversions of those bored with waiting on the King and his promised message, but who retained the dream that they had barely acknowledged: that these sets must mean something. By now many sets were on the wrong channel, color distorted, image warped, antenna bent, even physically damaged.

Others, however, waited for the King to broadcast the promised message, and guarded their sets carefully so that they could get the clearest, most accurate picture.

Then one day the King decided to send his message. Those who had waited and kept their TV sets at the original settings got an incredibly powerful and important message from the King on the meaning of life, just like the King had promised. When this happened, they were very glad that they had not tampered with their sets before the broadcast. Now they understood the reasons why the King had told them to be so careful with such a delicate and powerful instrument in the first place.

The others, however, had mutilated their sets by screwing up the knobs for self-amusement before the King sent his message. When it came, it was garbled and warped. There were ghost images. Many were broken. Some were on the wrong channel and got nothing. These people were very sad that they had tried to get an “image” while none was being sent, and thus had ruined their chance to get the King’s real message in its pure and perfect form.

Of course there is no such land or King, and the TV sets are merely a parable of sexuality. God gives us our sexuality and tells us:

Eph 5:31-32 (NIV) “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church.

The purpose of the sexes, according to God, is so that we might understand the mystery of the relationship between Jesus and his bride through marriage. This is a profound mystery indeed, for it is the meaning of life.

But each of us only have been given one set. If we “turn it on” before God speaks we will certainly get something, but not what God intends. And if for fun we turn the knobs, it may get more interesting but we will always get “de-tuned” from the station and/or “warp” the eventual image and/or put an odd “tint” to the color. And if we change the channel or worse, we may get nothing and wonder why God made such lavish promises about this set to begin with.

In light of this parable, consider the following scripture:

1 Cor 6:18 (NIV) Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

1 Cor 6:18 (NRS) … Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

Get it? If you play with this “set” before its time, you will ruin its reception.

If this is you, do not despair. Even if you have messed up your set, when God does communicate in the way he promised it will still be better than looking into noise, or any of the other damaging experiences. It may be color shifted, warped, or vibrate off the screen; but it will still be better than when God is not broadcasting.

And if God wills, he just may pay a visit to your house and readjust your set. It is worth asking him to do if you have already used your set in an unauthorized way. But he may not, and so you may have to live with the substandard image. This is at least more meaningful than the noise of inordinate use.

Better still, let us not do any more damage to our “sets”. Let us resolve to cherish the great and splendid gift God has given us. Let us take him at his word, since he made us and knows why and what is best for us in the long run.

The meaning-of-life message transmitted through godly sexuality is the most important sermon we will ever hear. For singles, the struggle to remain pure is a vivid sermon of our present spiritual longing and delay in functioning as we someday will and were made for; and a pure marriage is a reflection of the joy we will have with him at the consummation of all things. But even the best marriage, if it occurs, only derives its meaning from the reality which it reflects. So even if we never marry, we should remain pure. For someday, all that marriage is about will be revealed in a moment of piercing joy, the likes of which this universe has never seen. For his coming is described as a wedding feast, after all.

So let us not be flippant or stupid about tampering with and ruining our ability to perceive this message through temporary “thrills” now. God will communicate all he intends if we will trust his wisdom, believe his promise, and keep the unit pure until the broadcast is sent in married sexual consummation.

Dean and Laura VanDruff’s

Christian Reflections and Snippets

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, cleanse our sexuality, that we might fully enjoy committed sex in our marriages.  Where the river of our sexuality has overflowed it’s banks, we command it to come back into it’s correct course, clean, pure, and holy before your throne. In Your name we pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

Internet Adultery

adulteryadultery_2adultery1Internet Adultery

Internet Adultery
Over the years, I have endeavored to walk in not only practical holiness, but purity of heart.
With respect to women, I have endeavored to keep ministerial boundaries, never ministering to someone of the opposite sex, unless my wife was present.
Yet, this new venue of ministry, Social Media, is exciting in that it allows us to reach many more people with the truth of the Word of God, quickly, and to develop on-line gospel relationships that have had tremendous impact for the kingdom of God!
Billy Graham used to instruct young ministers, regarding personal integrity, simply: Don’t touch the girls, (or guys, for you ladies) the gold, or the glory.
I remember, back in the days when I was single, running a ‘big-brothers’ club in a subsidized housing project. As a single young man, employed, who was obviously a role model for children, it was almost as natural as breathing, to get hit on by single mom’s, who were desperate for adult companionship, and a husband. Rather, that become brutal with them, and join the ‘He man women haters club’, I cried out to God for help, wisdom, and purity of heart.
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
This is the verse, we would use to get us out into the streets, to practically help, wherever possible. Notice, if you will, how this reads:
1. Want to be pure and undefiled before God our Father? (Emphatically, YES!)
2. Here’s what you need to do, go visit the fatherless and widow.
3. Where do you go visit them? Right in the middle of their mess, ‘in their distress’. It is implied here that we would become part of their solution, that we would do something to alleviate their suffering. This might be simply in taking the children fishing, swimming, or bike riding, while the mom gets a well needed rest, or simply goes out with the girls.
4. Here is the trick: remain unspotted from the world. That means: no flirting with the girls, staying clear of the alcohol/drug and often criminal culture that exists in some of these communities. Holiness of conduct and purity of heart, are the only thing that kept us, as people did everything in their power to try and get us in involved in some of their schemes. Many nights of anguished prayer, and countless hours listening to the audio Bible, to remain cleansed, renewed, and washed by the water of the Word, to stay mentally, emotionally, and spiritually clean from some very challenging ministry sessions.
During this time, God graciously delivered me from my traditional, flirtatious ways with women, granting me the ability to see all women as sisters, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers, treating them with honor, with no games.
Back in the days of youth ministry, we used to instruct singles, regarding purity of heart, that not only was sex outside of marriage sin, but that Jesus said: Mt 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
This meant nor pornography, or sexual innuendos, or flirtatious behavior.
I remember making the statement: If you, in your conduct and conversations, awaken desires in a member of the opposite sex, that can only be legitimately fulfilled in a marriage relationship, it is sin to you, and you need to take it to the cross.
Yet, on Social Media, we see this type of conduct, all the time. People without shame, or boundaries, openly making provocative comments, that definitely incite romantic passions, publically, or in private messages, over the internet.
A good friend of mine, is fighting for his marriage.
In marriage counseling, he heard an alarming statistic: That 8 or 9, or every 10 divorces, brought Facebook posts, or copies of their unfaithful spouses Tweets, to court as evidence. Seems that folks had been having affairs, and keeping them going, using Social Media.
Seems this new rise in Social Media adultery, is not new to my world. Here are a couple of articles on it, that are well written:
Online Affairs Are Emotional Adultery

Finding a Lost Lover on the Internet: Easy to do, but Dangerous if You’re Married
I too, have been guilty, of this. In allowing women, other than my wife, access to my heart, at a level that should have only been available to my wife. To me, it is sin.
I think of the scene in the movie, ‘Fireproof’, where the guy smashes his computer because of his pornography addiction.
I am not into porn, I hate it. If you are, get out of it, it’s destroying you.
Yet, like my good friend, rather than deal with brutally difficult issues in my own marriage, I have carried on ‘spiritual’ conversations on Facebook and Twitter, at a level of intimacy, that should have been reserved only for my wife.
My good friend, deleted all of his Facebook and Twitter accounts, and blocked certain people from his phone and texts.
So, there is only one way of freedom for me, and that is to include my wife, on all of my accounts, and conversations on Social Media. Joint accounts, that keep me accountable for every word I post, or comment I make.
You know, many have said, that ‘Wisdom is the principal thing, and in all your getting get wisdom’. That is Biblical, but not totally accurate. The actual verse reads:Pr 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Pr 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
In all of your wisdom, get understanding.
Apart from Jesus, Solomon is recorded as being the wisest king that ever lived.
Yet, he blew it, in having many wives:1Ki 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
1Ki 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
Here is understanding. Wisdom did not keep his leadership pure, nor on track with God. Purity of heart, and faithfulness to one wife, would have.
Mal 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
Mal 2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
My ministry to folks over Social Media will continue, but my wife will be reading every prayer request, post, and comment, that comes back from the teachings posted.
My marriage may not be perfect, but I will remain faithful to it, in the brutally hard times, as well as the good ones.
I pray you do the same:
Let’s Pray:
‘Father, I raise up a cry for marriages, families, husbands, wives and children. I ask Sir, that you deliver us from our lusts, the seductions that would creep in, and destroy our homes. Forgive us, where we have erred in this, and purify our hearts, minds, and relationships, from ungodly entanglements, and adulterous affairs, whether physical, or merely emotional. I ask this, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, AMEN!’